Deadline Big Media 77 – CinemaCon Preview Podcast

By and | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 12:21pm PDT

Deadline Big Media ep 77In this week’s podcast, Deadline Executive Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom preview CinemaCon, the big annual gathering of theater operators in Las Vegas that puts the popcorn in popcorn movies. They also examine the NAB’s claims to the FCC of a faltering local TV business; update the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger with news from the states; whistle through the highlights of the relatively quiescent Disney annual meeting; examine the implications of the recent settlement of the long-running Viacom-YouTube copyright lawsuit; and ponder what’s next for Yahoo, given the imminent stock IPO by Alibaba, which it partly owns.

Deadline Big Media podcast 77 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 77 (.M4A version)

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Viacom And YouTube Settle Copyright Dispute

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 5:39am PDT

viacom-youtube-logos-300x283__130418214142-275x259No details yet on the terms of the agreement ending the $1B action that Viacom launched in 2007. The entertainment giant and Google’s YouTube say the resolution is a sign of the “growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.” Viacom had alleged that YouTube profited by turning a blind eye toward instances where users improperly posted its content, including clips from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. But Google said that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe harbor” provisions absolved it of responsibility for infringements by its users. Google largely prevailed in decisions at the U.S. District Court in New York, and in appeals. But Viacom continued its appeal, charging that YouTube induced users to post copyright infringing content.

Here’s today’s release: Read More »

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Viacom Plans International Rollout For Spike Channel

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT

Sumner Redstone Honored With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of FameCEO Philippe Dauman just disclosed his plan to add Spike to Viacom‘s overseas pay TV offerings, joining a portfolio that includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and the Paramount Channel. “We’re doing a little bit of proof of concept,” he said today at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. Spike TV logoHe’s optimistic because “we have been creating a lot of original programming on Spike itself,” and much of it — especially scripted shows — is “able to travel.” Overseas expansion is “a big, big opportunity” for Viacom and he sees distribution deals in countries including Brazil, Italy, and Russia helping to “fuel long-term growth” for the cable operation. In addition, “we look at India and think of our company a quarter century ago. It’s a great value creation opportunity.” Dauman also is taking a global view for Paramount. Read More »

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FCC Fines Viacom, ESPN, And NBCU $1.9M For Misuse Of Emergency Alert Sounds: Video

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 10:14am PST

Olympus Has FallenThe companies got into trouble after they ran ads for FilmDistrict‘s 2013 thriller Olympus Has Fallen that include the distinctive Emergency Alert System warning sounds, the FCC says today as it proposed what it calls the largest ever penalties for its misuse (watch the ad below). Viacom will be hit hardest with a $1.12M fine for airing the ad 108 times over five days on Spike, VH1, MTV, Comedy Central, MTV2, Centric, and BET. NBCUniversal will have to cough up $530,000 for running the ad 38 times over six days on Syfy, USA, and five regional sports networks. And ESPN follows with $280,000 for running the ad 13 times over four days on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNEWS. “The FCC has long prohibited the transmission of actual or simulated EAS Attention Signals or tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test of the EAS system,” the FCC says. The cable companies said that the rules don’t apply to them because they don’t participate in the EAS program, the FCC notice notes. Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 70: The Shorter Trailers Podcast

By and | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 6:03pm PST

Deadline BIG MEDIA podcast 70In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom catch up on the many highlights from earnings season announcements, beginning with those by possible dance partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable and what their news might mean for Comcast’s takeover bid. They also take the market temperature on Viacom and tech giants led by Google — which sold off its Motorola Mobility unit after owning it just two years — and Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and Amazon. They also look at exhibitors’ demands for shorter movie trailers and whether studios will play along.

Listen to the podcast in your choice of audio formats here:
Deadline Big Media podcast 70 (.MP3 version)
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Viacom CEO Touts EPIX Along With International And Digital Opportunities

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 6:43am PST

Philippe Dauman always seems to see Viacom through rose colored glasses when he talks with analysts, and continued to do so in his presentation this morning to discuss the company’s latest earnings report. viacom daumanRead More »

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Viacom Creates A Unit To Coordinate Program Acquisitions

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 6:49am PST

VIACOM LOGONEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2014 — Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today announced the formation of a Program Acquisitions Group to coordinate the company’s domestic program acquisition activity across its portfolio of domestic media networks, including BET, Centric, MTV, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

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Viacom To Launch Customized Kids’ TV Channel: WSJ

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 1:38pm PST

viacom-logo-5__121023210511__130718211402-200x97This sounds like it could be a parents’ dream-come-true. Viacom is planning to launch a new TV channel for kids that can be customized according to parents’ tastes and combines both scheduled programming and on-demand options, such as Netflix,Read More »

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Viacom Introduces Unit To Help Advertisers Blend Pitches With Programming

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 6:38am PST

VIACOM INC. VELOCITY LOGONEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2014  – Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today launched Viacom Velocity, a new full-service group offering insights-driven integrated marketing and creative content solutions from Viacom Media Networks Music and Entertainment.  Viacom Velocity merges the company’s existing Music and Entertainment Integrated Marketing teams, under Dario Spina, with a new creative team headed by Niels Schuurmans, former Executive Vice President, Consumer Marketing and Executive Creative Director at Spike TV, who joins as Executive Vice President, Viacom Velocity Creative Content Solutions.  Both Spina and Schuurmans report to Jeff Lucas, Head of Sales for Music and Entertainment.

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Viacom & Time Warner Cable Reach New Carriage Deal; Adds EPIX To Lineup

By | Tuesday December 24, 2013 @ 7:21am PST

viacom-logo-5__121023210511__130718211402-200x97With mere days to go before their latest deal expired, Time Warner Cable and Viacom announced a new carriage agreement today. Among keeping the Viacom channels on for New Year’s, the near last minute multi-year deal adds premiere cabler EPIX to the TWC lineup for the first time. “Our new agreement offers consumers a comprehensive collection of innovations across platforms, including the availability of EPIX and access to Viacom’s vast array of popular content within the Television Everywhere environment both in and out of their homes,”said Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman in a statement Tuesday. Specifics of the new agreement were not disclosed, but you can read the release here:

Related: Were Consumers The Biggest Losers In The CBS-TWC Dispute? Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 63 – The UBS Pay-TV It Forward Podcast

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 3:25pm PST

Deadline Big Media episode 63Deadline Financial Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom talk about highlights from this week’s big UBS media investor conference, which was dominated by lots and lots of talk about the future of pay television, whether the conversation was about DirecTV dropping channels, Viacom and Sony possibly starting an online service, Aereo’s big talk about partnering with cable companies and challenging broadcasters in the Supreme Court, or rising ad revenues for CBS and other broadcasters in a year plumped up by revenues from the Winter Olympics, mid-term elections and an improving economy.

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Viacom CEO Sees A “Strong Chance” An Online Pay TV Service Will Launch in 2014: UBS Confab

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 10:37am PST

That would be huge if Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s prediction is accurate — although he declined to elaborate in his presentation today at the UBS Global Media and Commmunications Conference. Philippe Dauman head shotViacom reportedly has talked with Sony about teaming up to offer an online service that would include the same kind of channels that now are only available to cable and satellite TV subscribers. Many programmers fear that a national online service could undermine their ability to sell their channels in bundles that require people to pay for services that they don’t watch. Intel met stiff resistance from cable networks when it proposed to introduce what’s known as an over-the-top service, and now wants to sell its technology. Read More »

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Viacom Execs Talk Up Sequels And Miley Cyrus, But Warn That Costs Will Rise

By | Thursday November 14, 2013 @ 7:38am PST

Paramount will continue to ride movie franchises Mission Impossible, Star Trek, GI Joe, and World War Z and roll out animated films for SpongeBob SquarePants and Monster Trucks, the company told analysts this morning as execs offered a rosy picture of Viacom’s growth prospects. CEO Philippe Dauman also crowed about the attention that Miley Cyrus’ sexually charged dancing brought to MTV’s Video Music Awards in August, calling it a “moment that is still reverberating across the pop culture landscape.” But some investors likely will be more concerned about the company’s acknowledgement that the original programming planned for its pay TV networks will drive costs up by a high single digit rate in 2014. “Original programming gives us the ability to build our brand better,” Dauman says. “It creates a lot of value for us.” In addition, Viacom says that its stock repurchases — which accelerated to $2.7B in the September quarter — will come closer to $850M in the three months ending in December. Read More »

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Studios Formally Drop $200M LimeWire Copyright Lawsuit

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 7:14pm PST

And with a signature and a date today, the more than $200 million copyright lawsuit by Hollywood against the file sharing site is over. A NYC-based federal judge today granted final approval to Paramount, 20th Century … Read More »

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Is Viacom Cannibalizing Nick Jr. And ‘SpongeBob’ To Help Nickelodeon?

By | Tuesday October 8, 2013 @ 7:57am PDT

The company’s leading Wall Street critic, Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger, raises the provocative idea this morning in a report that questions whether Viacom‘s stock — now hovering around its all-time high — can continue to rise. The share price has appreciated 55.4% so far in 2013 as investors grew confident that the company had reversed a startling decline in Nickelodeon’s ratings that began to show in late 2011. CEO Philippe Dauman says the turnaround largely reflects the success of new programs including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But Juenger says this morning that the ratings gains — and improvements in ad sales — are about to slow. Nickelodeon benefited in part because it began to target pre-Kindergarten viewers from 8:30 AM-2 PM — loading up on programs such as Dora The Explorer, Umizoomi, and Bubble Guppies – while Nick Jr focused on franchises “with arguably less audience appeal.” As a result “Nick Jr. lost about 250-300k average daily viewers [while] Nickelodeon gained about 100k.” Meanwhile, Nickelodeon squeezed SpongeBob SquarePants which now accounts for 45% of the channel’s programming hours, up from 25% in January 2012. “We know of no other network that relies so heavily on one single franchise,” Juenger says. It’s “undeniably risky to be so dependent on one franchise, especially Read More »

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Viacom CEO Vows To Promote Profits By Controlling Movie And TV Costs

By | Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 11:54am PDT

That doesn’t necessarily mean Viacom will skimp on spending where needed, CEO Philippe Dauman told investors at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. For example, Paramount has a new Transformers film planned for next year that has “a very high budget but very low risk. Same with Mission: Impossible and some of the other franchises.” With new versions of its latest franchise, World War Z, “we will alleviate the risk by bringing in co-financing.” Broadly speaking, though, “we have a history even in tough times of maintaining or growing margins” and that means keeping “a tight lid on expenses, including in programming.” At the movie studio Dauman expects to distribute about 15 films a year including three animated titles in 2015. But he adds that he’s “excited” about next month’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa with Johnny Knoxville, which Dauman calls “a fun movie, and a profitable one.” He’s also optimistic about Paramount’s revived television production operation. Read More »

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Producers And Networks Drive Pay TV Price Increases For Consumers: Analyst

By | Tuesday September 10, 2013 @ 2:35pm PDT

Pay TV distributors who believe that the decks are stacked against them in retransmission negotiations with major content producers should take a look at the 180-page media and entertainment report out today from International Strategy and Investment Group analyst Vijay Jayant. He urges investors to buy shares of AMC Networks, CBS, 21st Century Fox, Time Warner, and Viacom. He’s neutral on Discovery, Disney, and Scripps Networks. The big reason: These eight companies, he says, “control 90% of total TV viewership and 60% of total film production in the U.S., which means that, for the most part, they have the power to determine how content is packaged and priced to distributors and, therefore, consumers.” That muscle will be evident over the next few years as they squeeze cable and satellite companies to pay $60B in carriage fees for their channels in 2016, up from $45B this year. These payments “are drivers for the overall sector.” Factoring in “the consumer’s inherent psychological need for entertainment (even during tough times),” Jayant predicts healthy profits for his eight companies, with annual average returns on invested capital over the next three years ranging from 40.1% for AMC to 9.9% for Time Warner. Read More »

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Viacom Inks Streaming Deal With UK’s LoveFilm

By | Thursday August 29, 2013 @ 9:25am PDT

LOVEFiLM, an Amazon company, today announced the arrival of hundreds of hours of popular reality TV series, comedy and children’s entertainment on the LOVEFiLM Instant streaming service following a deal with worldwide entertainment leader Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). The wide selection of new shows will allow members of LOVEFiLM Instant in the UK to experience some of the greatest entertainment from across VIMN’s exciting broadcast portfolio – which includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Comedy Central.

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Could A Viacom-Sony Deal Lead Cable Operators To Raise Prices For Streaming?

It just might if it frightens them enough to accelerate their efforts to make people pay for broadband based on how much they use — the same way they pay for electricity or water. ”This isn’t just a side show,” independent analyst Craig Moffett says. “This is THE central issue defining the value of the cable industry going forward.” And the pricing model could rock streaming companies including Netflix or, perhaps, Sony. It would be “a material risk” to Netflix’s prospects if a Sony-Viacom agreement leads to usage-based pricing, Bernstein Research’s Carlos Kirjner says. Read More »

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